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Transfer of firearms, some seized from criminals, will raise money for St. Charles police
May 31, 2013|By Kate Thayer, Chicago Tribune reporter









St. Charles police Chief James Lamkin said the city's plan to sell about 20 weapons will raise money for his department. “They’re not illegal guns," he said. "Quite honestly, it’s a bottom line for us.” (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune)


Police who are responsible for enforcing gun laws and removing illegal weapons from the marketplace aren't typically in the business of putting firearms back into circulation.
But while some Chicago-area communities host buybacks where weapons are turned in and destroyed, one suburban police department is poised to sell about 20 firearms to two licensed dealers, including some guns seized from criminals.



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"There's value in these guns," said police Chief James Lamkin of west suburban St. Charles. "They're not illegal guns. Quite honestly, it's a bottom line for us."
Though Arizona has just enacted a controversial state law requiring local departments to sell firearms that are surrendered or go unclaimed, the practice appears to be unusual in the Chicago area. The Chicago Police Department and several suburban law-enforcement agencies, as well as Illinois State Police, say they destroy weapons after they're turned in or no longer needed as evidence.
Some police officials say the act of taking even one gun out of circulation — even if largely symbolic — is more valuable than any potential profits.
"It's another gun off the street to us," said Cmdr. Glenn Theriault of the Elgin police, among the departments which destroy firearms seized as evidence that are no longer required by law to be stored.
Even if they were sold to a reputable dealer, "anything can happen," Theriault said. "It can end up in a bad guy's hands, even if it's first in the good guy's hands."
The choice for a public agency to sell or destroy seized weapons underscores the push in many suburbs to find new ways to generate revenue without raising taxes. The issue also places St. Charles in an unusual position among law enforcement agencies at a time when the gun control debate has been re-energized by the Sandy Hook school shooting and, in Illinois, by the current effort to enact a concealed carry law before a court-imposed June deadline.
"There are individuals who will say, why not simply destroy them?" said St. Charles Mayor Raymond Rogina. "But when that happens, there will be someone saying that's taxpayer dollars (at stake) and you're throwing it away."
The city isn't only unloading guns once acquired through crime-fighting. Four of the weapons once issued to officers will go to Streicher's, a Minnesota vendor from whom the city routinely purchases equipment. Those guns will likely be used as parts for other law enforcement agencies, Lamkin said.
That practice isn't as unusual, as departments often trade in firearms for newer models when it's time to upgrade or replace them.
Most of St. Charles' weapons, however, are guns seized by the courts or turned in to police. They will be sold to a St. Charles gun manufacturer-dealer, Alpha Armament Co. While the dealer primarily works with police departments, it would have the right to sell the guns to anyone with a valid firearm owner's identification card, Lamkin said, including any weapon that was once connected to a crime.
 

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+1 for Chief James Lamkin.

Symbolism is for the fool.

Keeping a municipality's hands out of taxpayer's wallets, or lessening the 'take' is a WIN every time.

-SS
 

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The day is fast approaching when it will be more profitable to smuggle weapons and ammo into this country than it is to smuggle drugs into the USA. This will drive up the cost of those drugs significantly and do nothing but exacerbate the drug crime and violence that already terrorizes most urban areas of our nation.
When this day comes does anyone actually believe they will only smuggle semi autos, registered suppressors and black cat fire crackers? No they will bring in whatever the market is willing to pay for, full autos, RPG's grenades, C4, you name it. Guns will become the next drug, Heroin Cocaine, Pot! For over 100 years this country has made it illegal and has tried to irradiate drugs from our streets and now they want to eradicate guns thinking, as they did with drugs, that it will cure all our countries ills. One Question Mr. Obama / Chicago, how's that been working for you?
 

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Though Arizona has just enacted a controversial state law requiring local departments to sell firearms
Not controversial here, everyone seem's to think its common sense. Destroying guns takes money to, buy the gun back, have someone handle it, check for criminal activities, then pay to destroy it. You can solve a lot by NOT having the buy back, but a donation center instead. If someone doesn't want the gun they get a certificate for tax returns (Writeoff), then the guns checked and resold at an auction to FFL's.

Straight to the bottom line, only thing requiring any additional monies is the added job duties someone will need to facilitate the handling of the firearms, which they do already.
 
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